I don’t always know what to expect when I stop working for the day and set off to pick our son Theo up from school. Usually, he’s happy enough to come home and have a snack, but when it comes time to do homework, things typically start going downhill, and unpleasantness and frustration often follow. I recently decided to encourage Theo to “make his homework disappear” by having him do his homework at school after the bell and then call me to pick him up, thus leaving no work to do at home, or homework. This tactic hasn’t worked terribly well, as more often than not, when I arrive at the school, he reveals that he has only done a part of his homework or none at all. But I’ve been determined to persevere with this plan and was only temporarily set back when the office administrators told me I couldn’t let Theo call from the office every day for me to pick him up. That happened just before his birthday, so I talked to my husband David about getting him a phone for his birthday. He’d been asking for one, and we’d been resisting, but maybe we could use it to our advantage. I found an inexpensive phone at Target (on a prepaid plan) and we gave it to him as a birthday present with the requirement that he use it to call home after he’s finished his homework. Well, it’s been a week since his birthday, and I hate to admit, my cunning plan has not been working terribly well.